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More on Cuba and The Pope
Wednesday, January 12, 2005   By: Juan Paxety

A clarification

Earlier, I wrote about a curious quote in a Reuters piece about Pope John Paul II and Cuba. Reuters wrote:

"The Holy See strongly desires that obstacles which block free communication and exchange between the Cuban nation and part of the international community be overcome soon, thus reinforcing through respectful and open dialogue with everyone, the conditions necessary for real development," he said.

In the Reuters piece, there was no antecedent for the pronoun "he" - leaving the reader with a question as to who actually said it.  Now the Sun Sentinel reprints the quote putting it in the mouth of the pope himself.

The Sun Sentinel piece goes on to quote the reaction of some exile leaders:

"It's nothing different than the same attitude that the pope has had in regards to Cuba, which is really sad because it's not the same attitude he had toward Poland or toward communism [in other countries]," said Cuban exile activist Ninoska Pérez Castellón. "It's really disappointing."

Alfredo Mesa, of the Cuban-American National Foundation, repeats his support for the embargo, and his disappointment in the pope. But he does point to the pope's visit almost eight years ago as being helpful.

"Ever since his visit, it has been a place where people seek strength to seek liberty and to fight for the freedom of Cuba," Mesa said.

The article goes on to quote the wife of a jailed dissident who believes the pope's statement shows solidarity with the people, not the government, and an anti-embargo activist who says the pope is looking at the issue from a humanitarian perspective.

Whenever I read about Cuba, I feel that I've climbed into the Way Back Machine. The language of Marxism just sounds so old and outdated now. It's proved to be a disaster wherever tried.  The pathetic excuses of the left are equally tired. When castro decides to prop up his regime by allowing aid agencies into Cuba, the tiny bit of relief they can offer is celebrated as a great humanitarian effort.  It makes the folks participating in the aid effort feel really good about themselves.  But what of the people in Cuba?  They live on another day, the relief workers leave, and castro stays.  Real humanitarian aid to the people of Cuba would be freedom from castro's dictatorship. 

It's time to have a real, honest sensible discussion of the embargo.  It has not toppled castro in 45-years.  Is it time to end it, to flood Cuba with real help in bringing down castro?



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